Perspectives

INDEPENDENCE DAY AND DOING THE RIGHT THING

INDEPENDENCE DAY AND DOING THE RIGHT THING

INDEPENDENCE DAY AND DOING THE RIGHT THING The celebration of our country’s independence is a time of coming together, commemorating our unique democracy and embracing all the freedoms the Declaration of Independence stipulates. Like most of you, I have attended many 4th of July celebrations filled with great food, patriotic music and captivating fireworks. Each year, I come away from the festivities with a renewed love for my country and my fellow Americans. I also recall my first Independence Day as a New Cadet at West Point. The three days of Cadet Basic Training (Beast Barracks) I had survived felt more like three months in some warped reality. In the sweltering heat of the summer of 1979, our cadre marched 1,200 of us out to Trophy Point for a ceremony and concert. We wore our white shirts and gray pants absent of any rank. At the time, I was inconsolable,…
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May 26th, 2019 "A Remembrance"

May 26, 1983 is the day that I married James Edwin Gaba, Jr. But all who knew him called him, Eddie.  He was my West Point classmate and first love.  Many of you know my story of how I lost my first husband at the tender age of 36.  And today, May 26, 2019, would have marked our 36th wedding anniversary. For many years I was unable to speak publicly about his loss without breaking into tears.  And his death was indeed catastrophic for me and our daughters, Larisa, Gwenyth and Joye.  Over time, I would tell a bit more sometimes to friends and sometimes when afforded an opportunity to speak. However, today so many years later, I felt compelled to share one of the last memories I have of the good man who took me as his bride. In 1997, we lived in Richmond, Virginia and decided to take…
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No Whining

As we approach Memorial Day, I am reminded about those remarkable men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.  I often think about my Dad who served as a medic in General George Patton’s 3rd Infantry Division and marvel.  How did a diminutive man from a large farm family earn a silver star and four purple hearts? Those awards alone are evidence of both his valor and ability to recover from injury and keep going. Yet, like many in his generation he rarely spoke about his heroic service. It was only many years later that I fully understood his bravery.  He told how an enemy shell hit his squad and he was the only man who survived. A long ugly scar on his leg, showed he barely escaped. At one point, he found himself behind enemy lines and spent two weeks hiding and maneuvering to eventually rejoin…
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HUMOR

Just this week I was interviewed on a podcast by my classmate, Laurel McHargue. Laurel is not only an award-winning author having published 8 books, she also hosts the highly successful podcast, Alligator Preserves (to listen in to our conversation, I have posted the interview on my website). As a seasoned interviewer, Laurel has this uncanny ability to make her guests feel welcome and completely relaxed. And although, we did not know each other very well at the Academy, we quickly discovered how similar our experiences were. In short order, we each recounted several of stories of our common West Point experience. Before much time had expired, we were both laughing as we reminisced. Near the end of the interview, I realized I was smiling, and my mood was exuberant. Isn’t that how it is when we are granted the freedom to be real with someone and belly laugh with…
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Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Problem Solving My daughter, Larisa became a swimmer when she was just 12 years old. She joined a year-round swim team and later went on to compete in college. As a swim Mom, they never tell you how much a parent is required to do to support a swim team. Although volunteering never seemed a burden to me, there was one annual event that was incredibly challenging. Larisa’s team practiced in an outdoor pool until late fall when it became too cold to do so. Then the pool would need an inflatable pool enclosure or “bubble” so those swimmers could swim all through the winter and early spring when the apparatus would be taken down. However, erecting this mammoth bubble was an extreme undertaking. I remember arriving early on a Saturday morning with several other parents and the Coach. I assumed this would be a couple of hours of sweaty…
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